Jules Verne

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Part 01


Jules Verne

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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Part 01 Page 01

Twenty Thousand

Leagues Under

the Seas


An Underwater Tour of the World

Translated from the Original French

by F. P. Walter

With the Paintings of Milo Winter



Text Prepared by: F. P. Walter, 1433 Cedar Post, No. 31, Houston, Texas 77055. (713) 827-1345

A complete, unabridged translation of Vingt milles lieues sous les mers by Jules Verne, based on the original French texts published in Paris by J. Hetzel et Cie. over the period 1869-71.

The paintings of Illinois watercolorist Milo Winter (1888-1956) first appeared in a 1922 juvenile edition published by Rand McNally & Company.


The French title of this novel is Vingt mille lieues sous les mers. This is accurately translated as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the SEAS--rather than the SEA, as with many English editions. Verne's novel features a tour of the major oceans, and the term Leagues in its title is used as a measure not of depth but distance. Ed.


Color Plates vii

Introduction ix

Units of Measure xii


1. A Runaway Reef 1

2. The Pros and Cons 6

3. As Master Wishes 10

4. Ned Land 14

5. At Random! 19

6. At Full Steam 24

7. A Whale of Unknown Species 30

8. "Mobilis in Mobili" 35

9. The Tantrums of Ned Land 41

10. The Man of the Waters 46

11. The Nautilus 53

12. Everything through Electricity 58

13. Some Figures 63

14. The Black Current 68

15. An Invitation in Writing 76

16. Strolling the Plains 82

17. An Underwater Forest 86

18. Four Thousand Leagues Under the Pacific 91

19. Vanikoro 96

20. The Torres Strait 103

21. Some Days Ashore 109

22. The Lightning Bolts of Captain Nemo 117

23. "Aegri Somnia" 126

24. The Coral Realm 132


1. The Indian Ocean 138

2. A New Proposition from Captain Nemo 145

3. A Pearl Worth Ten Million 152

4. The Red Sea 160

5. Arabian Tunnel 170

6. The Greek Islands 176

7. The Mediterranean in Forty-Eight Hours 184

8. The Bay of Vigo 191

9. A Lost Continent 199

10. The Underwater Coalfields 206

11. The Sargasso Sea 214

12. Sperm Whales and Baleen Whales 220

13. The Ice Bank 228

14. The South Pole 236

15. Accident or Incident? 246

16. Shortage of Air 252

17. From Cape Horn to the Amazon 259

18. The Devilfish 266

19. The Gulf Stream 274

20. In Latitude 47? 24' and Longitude 17? 28' 282

21. A Mass Execution 287

22. The Last Words of Captain Nemo 294

23. Conclusion 299

Color Plates

Facing Page

The Bay of Vigo. iii

Ned Land stayed at his post. 28

"I've collected every one of them." 56

We walked with steady steps. 84

The dugout canoes drew nearer. 122

A dreadful battle was joined. 158

Picturesque ruins took shape. 202

"Farewell, O sun!" he called. 244

The poor fellow was done for. 272

An engaving by Guillaumot.


"The deepest parts of the ocean are totally unknown to us," admits Professor Aronnax early in this novel. "What goes on in those distant depths? What creatures inhabit, or could inhabit, those regions twelve or fifteen miles beneath the surface of the water? It's almost beyond conjecture."

Jules Verne (1828-1905) published the French equivalents of these words in 1869, and little has changed since. 126 years later, a Time cover story on deep-sea exploration made much the same admission: "We know more about Mars than we know about the oceans." This reality begins to explain the dark power and otherworldly fascination of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas.

Born in the French river town of Nantes, Verne had a lifelong passion for the sea. First as a Paris stockbroker, later as a celebrated author and yachtsman, he went on frequent voyages-- to Britain, America, the Mediterranean. But the specific stimulus for this novel was an 1865 fan letter from a fellow writer, Madame George Sand.